Zhang Zeduan


Zhang Zeduan
Detail of the original "Along the River During Qingming Festival" by Zhang Zeduan, early 12th century
Details of the painting "Along the River During Qingming Festival", the 18th century remake.

Zhang Zeduan (simplified Chinese: 张择端; traditional Chinese: 張擇端; pinyin: Zhāng Zéduān; Wade–Giles: Chang Tse-tuan) (1085 — 1145)[1], alias Zheng Dao, also sometimes translated as Zhang Zerui,[2] was a famous Chinese painter during the twelfth century, during the transitional period from the Northern Song to the Southern Song Dynasty, and was instrumental in the early history of the Chinese art style known as shan shui.

Contents

Biography

Zhang was a native of Dongwu (present Zhucheng, Shandong). He was a court painter of the Northern Song Dynasty, and that in the aftermath of that dynasty's fall, his paintings often conveyed criticisms of the social circumstances of the time.

Zhang Zeduan's most famous painting is Along the River During the Qingming Festival, a wide handscroll which depicts life in a city. This painting was made famous throughout China, as an emperor of the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368 AD) felt compelled to write a poem in praise of the artwork.[3] A popular remake of the painting was made in the 18th century, during the Qing Dynasty.

Historical significance

In terms of historical significance, Zhang's original painting of the Along the River During the Qingming Festival reveals much about life in China during the 12th century. Its myriad depictions of different people interacting with one another reveals the nuances of class structure and the many hardships of urban life as well. It also displays accurate depictions of technological practices found in Song China. For example, it depicts one river ship lowering its bipod mast before passing under the prominent bridge of the painting.[3] It shows ships in two major types, yet all of which have slung rudders for steering; the painting depicts freighters with narrow sterns or passenger boats and smaller craft with broad sterns, sailing upriver or docked along the banks while loading and unloading goods.[3] Large stern sweeps and bow sweeps can be seen on at least three of the river ships, worked by up to eight men each.[3]

Panorama of Along the River During Qingming Festival, 12th century original by Zhang Zeduan

See also

Notes

References

  • Needham, Joseph (1986). Science and Civilization in China: Volume 4, Physics and Physical Technology, Part 3, Civil Engineering and Nautics. Taipei: Caves Books Ltd.

External links


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